Apparently, I’m full of Love.

I went to therapy.  As I had been told many times, I was met by a genuinely warm and happy older man, who made something that is generally uncomfortable and painful for me, much less so.  I am sure there are other therapists in the area who would work well for me, but truly, I’m glad that I stuck to my guns and was insistent on seeing Dr. Wolcott.  Interestingly, despite being fairly convinced that my life and marriage were falling apart, Dr. Wolcott thought otherwise.  Apparently, I am full of love.  However, instead of showing this love in some healthy, well-mannered way, I will go to the ends of the earth to rescue you from whatever problem you have.  This may be not having enough time to do chores around the house, to, in the case of friends (looking at you Mr. ENFP), dropping whatever is actually bothering me, to help you rescue your relationship.  Myself is never first.  Now, how we are going to fix that is beyond me.  I assume that is why you actually continue going to therapy.  But, the root of the problem is simple.  I am a fixer of all the problems.  And by golly, if you have a problem, I will fix it.  It’s very classic INTJ really.  We see above the whole situation and can hone in and take care of it.  And I do so excellently.  I do it at work.  I do it at home.  I do it socially.  If there is a problem, I have a solution, and chances are it’ll be good and effective.  So that’s what we’re going to work on.  Also interestingly enough, Mr. ENFP was quite aware of this (pre therapy), so when I called him flabbergasted at the latest misgiving of my husband, he let me vent all of my frustrations prior to telling me that his girlfriend had likely ended their relationship.  True to form, I immediately put my frustrations aside, and helped come up with a grand gesture in hopes of reconciling, which he dutifully followed.  True to form, they reconciled.  See.  Fixer.  It also speaks volumes that he’s sensitive to this, and spawns many many levels of questions that will have to wait quite some time, as he is in Europe for the next two weeks.

Also interestingly, the root of so many of my problems may not be my husband, but instead, my dad.  When we started going on these trips to Houston, I was supposed to essentially be a taxi driver.  I had to make sure he was where he needed to be, but the rest was up to my dad.  Now, I manage it all.  I book the hotel.  I figure out what we’ll do when we’re in Houston (although admittedly, it’s what I want to do, not what we want to do).  I find out and catalog where he needs to be when, and whether he can have food prior to whatever procedure he is having, and if he cannot, how far in advance he has to stop eating.  I keep up with where we need to be, and whether this is something that is a firm appointment, or soft arrival (i.e., labs are soft arrival.  As long as they’re done before the procedure that follows, who cares).  Pretty well, my dad just has the procedure done to him. I am 100% responsible for the rest.

Despite all of this fix-it ability, there is one relationship at work that is seriously suffering.  In the firm I work at, offices line the exterior walls with cubes on the inside.  It’s all open, and unfortunately the area is particularly live.  We have a younger, inexperienced, secretary who is an ESFJ (universally, this personally rubs me the most wrong, except for maybe my ISTP brother), and a member of the mean/pretty girl clique.  Why we still have these things past high school just boggles me.  In any case, a lot of the firm thinks she is delightful, which if you are in a position of authority, she is.  However, she’s dumb as a brick, and has zero desire to learn more, and is lazy.  I kid you not, she has said several times “I’m smart enough.”  That statement right there is why we can never be friends.  Unfortunately, my boss and her boss do a lot of work together, which means our work overlaps a great bit.  She is now 3 cubes down, which has helped us some, but not enough.  Today’s drama – she complained to HR about me using speaker phone.  Specifically, I used it twice.  Once, I dialed a long distance phone number and then picked it up after dialing.  The other time, I was on the phone with HER boss trying to edit something with HER boss.  So, the HR guy comes to me in his passive-lets-all-be-friends way, which I detest, and tells me how I can’t use speakerphone.  I immediately then email her boss that anytime she wants to edit something, I need to come to her or she needs to come to me.  We will see how this goes.  I detest office politics, but if what I’m doing isn’t wrong, you damn well better believe I will fight back.  I hear her cough, vape, and type all day with her fake fingernails on the keyboard, and never say a word.  Maybe that should change.

More therapy Tuesday.  Thank God it’s Friday.

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I have an aspie husband.

My husband was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 29.  Though it had been suspected for years that he was an aspie, the official diagnosis came after hours and hours of testing and interviews.  We had been married for two years. At the time, the diagnosis was a beacon of hope, as it enabled him to receive services towards job placement, among other things.  Now, 6 years later, I see it as the beginning of the destruction of our marriage.

Since then, I’ve become a self taught expert on asperger’s and the neurotypical relationship.  I know what my husband’s needs and limitations are, and most of the time, try very hard to respect them.  However, asperger’s changes as you age, and with the onset of the diagnosis, it became an excuse, for pretty much any ill behavior.  I have always fought terribly hard for a social life of my own.  If he wanted to tag along, that’s great, but if not, that was ok too.  I was still going to see my friends.

3.5 years ago, after most of a year trying, we got pregnant.  The asperger’s diagnosis was looming large.  I always wondered if someone on the spectrum could truly care for and take care of an infant.  They can by the way.  I knew that I wanted a baby, and that worst case scenario, I could manage a (single) baby.  Unfortunately, my pregnancy was abominable.  I threw up every day, all day, from exactly 6 weeks.  By 16 weeks, it slowed down some, but then anything that so much as looked at my gag reflex would cause me to vomit.  At around 20 weeks, I swelled up like a balloon and at 24 weeks on the nose, began the trek down the road with preeclampsia.  I was fine until I wasn’t.  At 25 weeks, 1 day, our son was born.  He spent 3.5 months in the NICU, followed by another 4 months on house arrest as he came home during the worst RSV season in decades.  By that point, whatever social network I had was gone.

I struggled through that for about a year and a half.  At that point, I was miserably lonely, and questioning my own marriage.  See, the thing about aspies, is they can put on a good show to convince you they love you and woo you, while you’re dating.  Once you’re married, that show is unnecessary.  I’ve read countless places that NT wives felt duped, and admittedly, my husband and I have had conversations on several issues, where I felt the same way.  In any case, I reached out, on facebook to several friends of the past, notably all male.  I don’t know that I had dishonest intentions, but I don’t know that they were honest either.  I’ve always gotten along with guys, and I knew they wouldn’t want to talk about our kid.  Luckily, one of the friends I reached out to was Mr. ENFP.  Frankly, I owe a lot to him for the fact that I’m still married.  He has always championed the work it out attitude.

One of the traits of asperger’s is that an Aspie is very conflict averse.  So anytime there’s any sort of fight or disagreement, there’s this immediate need to fix it, now.  Except you don’t really fix anything.  You put a bandaid on it.  Finally, the wall of bandaids was so thick and tall with the wound festering underneath, the whole thing fell off.  I don’t know if we’ll stay married.  I get to this point of not wanting to be with him anymore, and then I sit with that, and get really sad.  Failure of any marriage is sad, but I sit in this circle of unknowns, because as sad as it is, I still love him.

Add to the mix, we now have a 2 year old, who is healthy and opinionated and wonderful, except when he’s being an asshole.  I have a dad who has lung cancer.  I’ve become the sole caregiver for everything MD Anderson related.  I have a VERY demanding job, which I love, but that sucks the life out of me.  And then I come home to a cold house, where even though I am with my husband, I’m alone.  I have made some new friends over the past year, in surprising places, and I think that  is what gives me the strength to go to therapy now.  That, and that Mr. ENFP has suggested it every time my husband and I have a fight.  The INTJ can be worn down.

Hopefully therapy will yield something positive.  At least there’s hope.

Judging your sexuality only against yourself

My husband and I have been together 11 years.  I came into the relationship with a plethora of sexual experience.  Slut shame away.  I will own it and am proud of it.  College was fun.  I was his second lover, and his first was brief.  He has always been super self-conscious about making sure he pleases me, always, but he gets nervous with the female anatomy, and how what did the trick one day may be downright uncomfortable the next.  Mr. ENFP and I have talked about this some, how to expand his horizons without hurting his feelings, but mostly I end up feeling inadequate.  Mr. ENFP is no doubt comfortable with his sexuality.  He has been with a myriad of partners, some of which who are, and some of which who aren’t equally as comfortable.  Currently, his partner is exceedingly comfortable.  They’re also new, and not 11 years, a toddler, some dogs, a parent with cancer, and full time jobs in.  When my husband and I were new, we were pretty frequent too.  Anyway, somehow in my mind, I’ve made it the goal to be as frequent and varied (and he could be feeding me crap) as they are.  Call me competitive.  Call me bored.  Call me whatever you want.  11 years is a long time.  But, here’s the thing, I have a toddler, a very demanding full time job, a dad with cancer, classes that I’m taking, and an ensemble I’m playing in.  Plus I cook 5-6 days a week, keep a house, and try to enjoy a little time with my toddler.  Somewhere in there, I find a few moments to myself.  My husband and I consistently do the deed once to twice a week.  As I get close to my Houston trips, we might take a week off, but as soon as that’s done, we’re right back at our usual pace.  I’m not a nighttime person.  Ideally, we’d have afternoon delights, say around 2pm.  After the toddler goes to bed, I’m tired.  The last thing I want to do is figure out how to creatively get off.  So, in our experimentation, I’ve tried to slow him down a little bit.  With all that is going on around me, I take time to get warmed up.  You have to distract me from all of the shit I’m responsible for, and cause me to focus on you, and that my friends, takes a little time.  We have recently started experimenting with lube. Accidentally, and unfortunately, that came in the form of coconut oil.  It makes a great massage substance, but as a lube, it leads to one thing – yeast infections.  And no jolly 30 minutes is worth all of that.

So today, I reached out to several people – Mr. ENFP, Dr. ENFP, and my stylist, to see what their thoughts were.  I wanted something preferably silicon safe, but outside of that, my only requirement was that it wasn’t sticky.  With Mr. ENFP, I now feel sufficiently sub par.  I blushed when asking my stylist, who was happy to answer, but laughed first.  Dr. ENFP talked about it like I was buying hairspray, which is exactly what I wanted.   I learned something too.  Just because you assume people are doing it like rabbits, doesn’t mean they are.  Dr. ENFP and her fiancé haven’t done the deed in 8 months.  8 months of living together.  He is apparently super self conscious, and wants to mostly wait until they’re married.  I have to say, my once to twice a week of dedicated romping around doesn’t sound so bad after that.

Ultimately, I think what matters is what works for you.   Yes my husband needs to broaden his horizons, and yes, I need to be more comfortable in saying what I want and don’t want, but we are trying.  We’re actively doing, and actively trying to make each other feel good as often as we can stand.  We have a toddler, a full life, a dad with cancer, and I have a demanding job.  As long as we are finding time to connect, whether sexually or otherwise, that’s what matters.

But, I’m still looking for that fantastic lube, edible or not, that is silicon safe and not sticky.  Suggestions welcome.

Full disclosure, I’m on steroids

I woke up miserably ill NYE.  Ok, that’s an exaggeration.  I woke up with a scratchy throat that was the downhill slide to miserably ill by the end of NYE.  I had my spa day courtesy of my boss, and the longer it went, the worse I felt.  After being convinced that surely I had the flu (it’s been going around the office), I holed up in my bedroom for two days.  After not being surrounded by sickness around me, and not having tons of fever, my husband and I trotted off to the local urgent care facility where my flu test indeed came up negative.  They loaded me up with a celestone-like (nobody actually gives you real celestone anymore) shot, a prescription for antibiotics for my raging ear infection and probable sinus infection, and a prescription for prednisone to keep me going when the shot wears out tomorrow.  This place only sees me when I’ve got an ear/sinus infection.  I think they saw me with a severe severe (IV bag of fluids severe) stomach bug once.  But pretty well everything else, I go to my regular MD who works weird hours, on a schedule.

Some people get angry on steroids.  Not me.  I get hot.  Really hot.  Like if I move, my head and scalp start to sweat hot.  It’s 24 outside, and I did wear a coat to work today out of good measure, but frankly, I think I could have walked around in shorts and been fine.  I also get sensitive, and emotional.  The nurse asked me about my weight as she was taking vitals (who at the doctor’s office ASKS someone their weight?), and with my husband there, I shimied and shyed, so we weighed me, in the hall.  I came back in, and after the nurse left, he quoted my weight back to me.  He knew.  It’s something I’ve been uncomfortable with post baby.  There’s this whole change that happens to you after you have a child, and you can weigh exactly what you did before having that child, and wear the same, if not smaller, clothes than before you had that child, and it’s never good enough.  There’s a shape change, and some stretch marks (although the nice thing about being a red head is they’re white, I’m white, you have to know what you’re looking for), and it rocks you to your soul.  But, he’s just there, loving me.  Knowing everything about me.

My husband really has carried the bag the past few days.  Two of three nights, he’s moved to the couch because of my mouth breathing snoring (which will hopefully cease tonight).  He has taken care of our son 100% without complaint while I moved from couch to bed, bed to couch.  Last night, buzzing around on steroids, I resumed my motherly ways, and took up bed/bathtime duties (I’m pretty sure it’s the first time in three days that the toddler’s teeth were brushed), and everything seemed to click again.  I baked cookies.  With celestone highs, there seems to always be cookies.

About an hour before bed I was hot.  Miserably so.  It was in the 20s (this is Louisiana.  This is HIGHLY HIGHLY unusual for us) outside, and our inside was 66, but I was sitting in the middle of our bed watching TV in a bra and underwear with the fan on, glistening of sweat.  I walked into the kitchen to start the dishwasher sans clothes, when my husband said, that I should get a celestone shot everyday.  That is real love.  Love that you can have a red nose, no makeup and stringy hair, walk around in your underwear and glasses, and still be found attractive by your husband with zero sucking in.

I do a lot for our little family, but I have no doubt that I am not the easiest person to live with.  I’m particular and temperamental, and have been trying to find myself in this new way for about a year now.  But one thing remains utterly constant – my husband just loves me.

Don’t expect much sappiness from me for the future.  The steroids will be gone in 5 days.  But for today, I’m basking in the glow of love.  And lots of sinus drugs.

Sometimes there’s nothing to write about, and then you write 1000 words about it.

Part of the problem with blogging is you have to have something to blog about.  It’s been a very work intensive week, with a boss fresh off of his race training schedule, which means the days of getting off at 5:00 p.m. on the dot are long gone.  My childcare has become erratic.  The various nieces and nephews were sick last week, which has led to the in laws being sick this week.  My mother only got released from her wound vac yesterday, which means that child care will sort of return to normal next week for the first time in a month and a half, but this week, has caused havoc.  With the in laws out, both my husband and I have had to take some baby duty time. It’s been stressful, to say the least.

The MRI of my dad’s head has still not been scheduled, although, as with all things cancer, while time sensitive, it’s not an emergency.  I keep telling myself this.  I keep muddling through the possibilities of hope that maybe he doesn’t have any cancer in his brain, followed by the inevitable crash that the symptoms are surely there.  Unfortunately, there’s no way to affirm or disprove this until we get a look at his brain.

Halloween has come and gone.  Our little Charlie Brown was quite skeptical of getting candy from random people down the street, but was super excited about seeing who came to his door.  The doorbell would ring and I would dutifully grab the bowl of candy for the eager eyed goblins of all sorts.  He would come running behind me to see everyone and stare excitedly, and upon the departure of the young trick or treaters, forcefully slam the door.  I haven’t been able to figure out if he was just excited to close the door, or specifically excited to close the door on people he doesn’t know.  Either way, he had fun, and that’s really all that matters.  Luckily, or unluckily, only toddlers get to know what toddlers think.

We’ve had three seasons this week – summer (today), winter (Monday/Tuesday), and fall (yesterday).  We have more summer for the rest of the week, followed by a gentle transition back to fall next week.  It’s a wonder that we’re not all always sick, but so far (fingers crossed), I have managed to stay healthy.

On my musings of the MBTI, Mr. ENFP has been sliding down a dark slippery path.  He’s been applying for various college jobs, as well as submitting applications to various saxophone conferences.  He’s terrible at having himself judged in his current state.  I am ridiculously pattern oriented (INTJ classic), probably to a fault, so anytime there is any variation in his general pattern, I tend to get anxious.  Somehow everything comes back to his failed marriage (I forwarded him information on a divorce attorney in Arizona yesterday, at his request), and how this makes him a failure of a person.  I constantly remind him that it was his wife who ultimately gave up on the marriage (he desperately wanted to try to work it out), and that while he is certainly not faultless, it is not him who let it just die.  What comes with all of this is a retreat inward on his part, which, due to our multi state separation, I see as backing off/abandoning me.  I then get concerned, but instead of reacting out of concern, I usually take a defensive standpoint and lash out with a snarky text message.  It used to be that he would lash back, but he’s gotten used to these outbursts, and we both seem to know they’re going to happen.  Admittedly, this was the best he’s ever done, as he swooped into caring ENFP mode before I’d even realized that’s what was happening.  There’s something about the tone of voice that he has when he’s trying to make his INTJ feel better, even if it’s him who caused his INTJ to feel not better in the first place, that immediately puts me at ease.  Being vulnerable with anyone, including my husband, is huge.

Admittedly, I have this underlying fear of something that was very realized in an attempted friendship a few months ago.  I’m vulnerable, and expose my inner feelings (which are a convoluted disorganized mess), and then I’m left raw and exposed, and abandoned when the friend or friend to be says it’s too much.  The friend to be was our realtor on selling our townhouse.  There was so much potential for a great friendship there, but she’s so flighty.  Admittedly, she also manipulated the sharing of feelings.  I don’t think it was out of a place of malice, but it was easy for her, and she did it.  That would have been ok if she didn’t cancel about half of the plans made.  Finally once one set of plans were cancelled, my maximum threshold was reached, and I quit texting.  I assume one day (maybe), she will text me, but probably not.  I’ve faded into the background, as has she.  She was also very critical of my friendship with Mr. ENFP, who had been around quite a bit longer than her at that point.  In any case, my tendency towards fearing abandonment is something that has been realized many times.  And, while I know deep down, that he probably won’t abandon me, the delicate nature of an opposite sex friendship thrusts this fear towards the surface frequently.

He will be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we’re (husband and me, no toddler) traveling down to south Louisiana to see him, probably after Thanksgiving.  Having a husband with Asperger’s gets to be a challenge here.  I want to see my friend for as much time in a short time frame as possible.  My husband wants to have dinner and call it a visit.  Mr. ENFP is a guy, so the likelihood of having dinner as a trio, then dropping my husband off at the hotel so Mr. ENFP can have coffee (or drinks, or just conversation) is not likely (and I agree with my husband on this).  But, it puts me in an interesting tug of war.  There’s three weeks until Thanksgiving.  Hopefully all of this goes smoothly.

 

The ENFP friend(s)

I have always been very particular about trust.  I am very protective of myself, very self sufficient, and the idea of actually needing others and relying on others makes me want to vomit, quite literally.  However, I have two very dear ENFP friends who I offer up my life to, including all the feels.  Despite these two (one male, one female) having the same MBTI type, you could not find two more different people.  In an effort to keep anonymity, the female ENFP is light, easy, and the friendliest person you’ll ever meet, with a zany intelligence that will match anyone toe for toe, all while being a devoted and talented musician (we were each other’s biggest competition in high school).  We have been inseparable since fourth grade.  The male and I actually have a little bit of a history.  We met at an honor band in high school.  There was an instant attraction (I think we went from meeting to making out in the span of an hour and a half).  We kept up with each other off and on through college (he went to one SEC school, while I went to its rival), and have remained facebook friends.  He is simultaneously the lightest yet deepest person I have ever met.  He also is hands down the most talented musician I have ever known, ever.  We reconnected over the summer as his marriage was falling apart.  Somewhere along the line, I became a deeply trusted confidant, and still hold that role.  While the nature is purely platonic in this context, the friendship has been fast, fierce, and enduring.  Additionally, he is possibly the most accepting person of me as me that I’ve ever known (my husband is a very close second on that front, but does sometimes have issues with my dry logic).  Between the two of them, they have gotten me back into music, and he has helped me branch back out and make a few select friends (although floating 5 friendships all at once is seriously exhausting).

It brings an interesting twist to life, as I’ve been married for 7 years now.  Can you be friends with someone of the opposite sex?  I say (and firmly believe) yes.  We have acknowledged the history.  My husband knows of the history.  I’m annoyingly transparent about our friendship (also exhausting).  Admittedly, if we were both single, I might completely uproot my life to be with this guy, but I’m mostly happily married, and he has a girlfriend, plus is fixing to go through what will no undoubtedly be an awful divorce.  Most people say the heart wants what it can’t have, but really, with me, the mind looks at the whole situation and says it’ll never be, so why want.

I write about this today, as the issue was an issue yesterday.  My male friend was having a particularly emotional day, so he called.  I talked while entertaining our almost two year old toddler, and cooking dinner.  Afterwards, there was a huge explosive fight, followed by lots of silence, and ‘I love you’s’ on my husband’s part, which has continued into today.  My guy friend and husband have not ever met.  There are tentative plans for the two of them to meet around Christmas (he doesn’t live close at all), but that is all very tentative.  I don’t make light of the relationship my guy ENFP and I have.  I won’t lie; I’ve spent many hours pondering what could have been, and whether it would have worked.  But, at a place that I am at now, I really do believe he’s just my pal.  Probably one of my best friends, but nonetheless a friend.

So what do you do with that?  Obviously it’s a spring stretching to its tightness juggling my friend and husband.  Running in the background is my father, who is fighting with lung cancer (never smoker, don’t judge), and will probably die in the nearer future.  It’s been a battle for four years, which is insanely remarkable, but we are nearing that critical point of cancer ratio to organs.  Fortunately (or unfortunately) my male friend’s father also died of cancer.  Sometimes you need that connection when you need to be negative, or realistic.  The giant red line in the sand has been drawn.  On occasion, my husband challenges it, but then steps back realizing that I do love him (and our son) dearly.

Time will tell, I know, but in the meantime, life is a tangled dysfunctional mess.